AGILO FB: innovative welfare housing technology for sows and piglets kept in groups

Presented at SPACE this week the AGILO FB from Big Dutchman
calendar icon 14 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Increased welfare for sows and piglets, less work for sow managers: Big Dutchman has enhanced the new AGILO group housing system for lactating sows and presents AGILO FB at SPACE 2023, a system where the sow can open and close the farrowing pen independently. The sow can thus eat or relax without being disturbed, and leave the retreat on her own whenever she wants. In this manner, positive experience with free-access stalls used when keeping pregnant sows in groups is passed on to the farrowing frame in group housing systems for lactating sows.

The new free-access mechanism has the following advantages:

For the sow:

  • The sow can retreat to the farrowing frame. Since the door is closed, no other sow can follow.

For the staff:

  • The tedious closing of doors to confine sows is no longer necessary.
  • Multiple farrowing frames can be put into activity mode or catching mode at the same time. In contrast to other systems, the staff do not have to close the doors or side parts of individual pens. This improves ease of use and saves time, which can be invested to monitor the sows.

An important feature of the AGILO systems is the large amount of space they offer for sows and piglets. This space is created by arranging the farrowing pens next to one another and making the activity area available to all farrowing pens. Every farrowing pen has its own farrowing frame with an eating area. On the left and on the right, the space designated for the piglets can be designed as a creep. When the sows are active, the farrowing frames can be opened manually so the sows can use the activity area together with the piglets. The farrowing frame stays open, even when a sow is inside.

AGILO: 30 % less time required per sow place due to:

  • moving in per group without having to open and close the farrowing frames;
  • more sow activity until shortly before farrowing and therefore faster births with more live-born piglets;
  • no more fostering between sows/litters;
  • faster and easier weaning;
  • less stress during weaning for the piglets;
  • better return to heat after weaning.

Individual farrowing in the farrowing frame also improves the maternal bond and thus reduces losses caused by overlying. Another AGILO benefit: the number of ranking fights decreases because the piglets define the hierarchy long before weaning.

Agilo FB
Agilo FB increased welfare for sows and piglets
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